Long time, no posting. We ended up spending almost an entire week in Hoi An which definitely wasn’t part of the plan, but turned out pretty good actually. When we first arrived at the city, we almost couldn’t get out of there fast enough because of the massive amount of tourists and the high prices that follow.
But as is the case with I dare say every city (or place for that matter) once you get to know where the good places are, what to do and what not to do, Hoi An is a really nice city.
One of our best experiences, however, was not in the city but a short 1 1/2h boat ride away.
Deserted, white beaches, cliffs with lush jungle vegetation and surrounding it – coral reefs and clear, blue ocean water. If there was ever a paradise on earth, Cham Island is it!
The Hoi An based company “Cham Island diving” with the very fitting slogan “no troubles, make bubbles” offers snorkelling and/or diving excursions with same-day-returns or over-night-stays on the beach of Cham Island.
We shipped out at 8.30am on an old fishing boat gone divers paradise. Fully equipped with wet-suits, snorkelling/diving gear and deckchairs on the roof for in-between relaxation.
Now I have a confession to make. I don’t like the ocean. I had a rather traumatizing experience when I was younger (nothing dangerous, I just got really scared while snorkelling) and since then I haven’t really felt safe in the water. On top of that I got really seasick on the way out, to an extent where I actually started crying with relief when the boat finally cast anchor for our first dive. (classy, I know)
I did get in the water, however, though I have nothing but the diving feet picture below to prove it (unlike all the others who had knowingly brought several Go-Pros)
The water was a bit cold and the visibility wasn’t great, but I made it and felt safe along the way, so I called it a day and spent the rest of the morning in a deck chair.
At noon we finally headed for lunch at the island. It felt like stepping into a scene from LOST.
At 3pm the boat went back and left the island to us and 5 others who were also going to spend the night.
Lucky for us those five others were a really great bunch: Ivan, one of the diving instructors from Cham Diving, Alexander and Erik, Dutch businessmen working on the water plant in Da Nang, and Shann and Julia, expats from New Zealand. Julia teaches English at the international school in Da Nang and Shann owns a cool art shop in Hoi An, called HAYHAY. As it turns out he was an exchange student in Næstved in 92′ so he spoke a little Danish too (among it the worst Danish swearword I have ever head)
They were really cool and we ended up spending the evening with them on the beach, drinking, playing cards and listening to music while watching the sunset.
Of course there was a bonfire involved …
The next day we all went to a local fishing village some 2-3 km away, where among others we saw a horse shoe crap (bottom picture)
Fun fact on horse shoe crabs: They hold the prize for animal to have been on the earth for 4th longest and they have blue blood (now you know)
The trip back was a whole other story, but lets just say we made it and that the pill Erik so kindly gave me for seasickness came in very handy.
We booked our 2-day snorkelling tour through Cham Island diving and paid 80$ each including transportation, free use of snorkelling gear, 2xlunch, 1 dinner, 1 breakfast and a fully equipped tent on the beach.